The division within the Republican Party can be seen in congressional votes cast on the tax bill and the reaction to its passage, especially among potential 2016 presidential candidates.
Rep. Paul Ryan voted yes, while Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul voted no.
And several Republican governors thought to be considering potential 2016 bids — such as Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — will almost certainly be asked for their take on the legislation in the coming days. Since they didn’t have to actually vote, it will be easier for them to mock the ways of Washington and criticize both sides.
For those on the sidelines, that criticism comes easier, as seen in the statement of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
“Last night’s actions in the House and Senate were only our elected officials kicking the can down the road rather than make meaningful changes on spending cuts and tax reforms,” Santorum said in a statement today. “As well-intentioned as it may be, the compromise passed by the Senate and House is at best a short-term Band-Aid and at worst a prescription for further economic decline in our country.”
While many votes in Washington are quickly forgotten, this is one is likely to be filed away by the opposition researchers for the primary campaigns of 2015 and presidential campaign of 2016.